For the first time in Qatar, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has developed a clinical imaging platform which will enable digital images such as X-rays and MRI scans to be shared among all healthcare providers in the country.
This national clinical imaging platform brings together patient imaging data from various medical specialties into a single repository, allowing it to be shared with other healthcare providers including Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and Sidra Medical and Research Centre (Sidra). Today, the national clinical imaging repository holds close to 20 million images, which all private hospitals across the country as well as hospitals overseas will be able to access provided that privacy regulatory criteria are met.
HMC’s Chief of Health Information and Communications Technology (HICT), Clive Gibbons, described the new platform as a key achievement in the development of digital hospitals in Qatar.
The availability of images for multiple medical specialties from a single repository at the point of care, especially in our Accident and Emergency unit enables faster care delivery and saves money for both healthcare providers and patients as it removes the need to repeat examinations.’
Expanding on the additional benefits to patients, HMC’s Director of HICT for Clinical Imaging, Dharmendra Ghai said that patients will no longer need to repeat the same imaging procedure even if they get treatment at more than one healthcare provider. This means that their exposure to radiation will be reduced.
Ghai also explained the importance of digital images for ground-breaking research in the field of computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) to aid treatment delivery. He said that digital images provide a great deal of data which clinicians have to analyse and interpret in a relatively short period of time. CAD can help in this process by looking at the digital images stored on the database and recognising patterns based on past data. This can support the clinician’s diagnosis or evaluation by highlighting areas of concern with the patient.
The platform is from Mach7 Technologies based in the USA. HMC expects it to be leveraged for various workflows including overseas treatment and remote consultations, helping HMC meets its vision of providing all patients with the safest, most effective and most compassionate care.